Sunday, October 24, 2010
Today the Associated Press wonders if gay voters disillusioned with the Obama administration will cost the Democrats seats in tightly contested races.
Across the country, activists say gay voters are angry — at the lack of progress on issues from eliminating employment discrimination to uncertainty over serving in the military to the economy — and some are choosing to sit out this election or look for other candidates. President Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago, with its large, politically and socially active gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, offers a snapshot of what some are calling the "enthusiasm gap" between voters who came out strong for Obama and other Democrats in 2008 and re-energized Republican base voters, including tea party enthusiasts who say they are primed to storm the polls. [snip]Folks, you must vote. And yes, you should vote Democrat, even as disappointed as you may feel, if for no other reason than this is the year that we vote in the candidates that will control post-census redistricting. Are you so angry about DADT that you'd put the fucking teabaggers in charge of redrawing the boundaries of your district?
In places like Cook County, Ill., where the gay population represents about 7 percent of voters, that could mean the difference between victory and defeat in some races, said Rick Garcia, director of public policy for Equality Illinois. One of those races is a much-watched and close battle for Obama's old Senate seat between Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk. "If (candidates) can mobilize the gay community and get them out to vote, it could make all the difference in the world in some of these key races," said Garcia. But volunteers who've been calling the 18,000 or so members of Equality Illinois to urge them to vote have been getting an earful. Many members say they won't vote or will vote against incumbents, regardless of their party affiliation or stance on gay issues.